The last day for online add/drop this year — Tuesday, Sept. 6 — was even more poorly planned than the fact that Meliora

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Weekend consistently coincides with midterms. Given that classes started on a Wednesday and that there were no Monday classes because of Labor Day, there was only a four-day window of time during which students could change their schedules online. In comparison to the Fall 2010 semester, this semester had two fewer days of classes before the online add/drop period ended.

Another — perhaps more striking — issue is that the University offers over 140 classes that meet only on Tuesdays, so for some students, the last day of online add/drop was also their very first day of a class. This suggests that a student is expected to already know after only one day whether he or she will drop or stay with that class.

The short-lived existence of online add/drop is especially confusing in the face of the considerably later deadline for manual add/drop, which is Tuesday, Sept. 27 — far beyond the point in the semester when any student could effectively add a class and catch up on the work.

Additionally, the overly complicated process of manual add/drop only exacerbates the problem of online add/drop ending so soon. Were it as simple as walking into Lattimore 312, filling out a yellow add/drop form and walking away, then perhaps it would not even be worth mentioning that the timing of this year’s online add/drop deadline is ridiculous.

However, the manual process is laborious and inconsistent, depending on a variety of personal situations such as class year, major declaration status, GPA and schedule overloads. The online system, despite the occasional server crash during peak registration times, provides a much easier and more straightforward process for students to finalize their schedules.

If the system for manual add/drop were smoother, then it wouldn’t be necessary to lengthen the time of online add/drop but as it is now, students inarguably need more than four days to figure out their schedules — especially since it takes some of us three years just to figure out our majors.

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